Some delegates yesterday tacitly suggested the inclusion of single tenure for the president and creation of zonal structures that will produce zonal presidents as panacea to the agitation for rotational presidency.
They want these to constitute major part of the body of recommendations to be submitted at the end of the three months exercise and subsequently form part of the new Nigerian constitution that is being envisaged.
Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Prof Jubril Aminu among others, asserted that the introduction of the single tenure and zonal presidency and the creation of a weak centre will not only make the centre unattractive but reduce the desperation for the presidency.
Accordingly to the former chief lawmaker of Nigeria, who advocated the creation of a zonal structure with elected zonal presidents, the new arrangement, if adopted and made constitutional, will guarantee each zone a shot at the presidency at the centre without desperation, brickbats and undue skirmishes.
He was of the view that zonal structure will strengthened the zones, makes them development oriented and therefore a panacea for the relentless agitation today for the control of the centre and the lopsidedness in the federal structure to the detriment of states and the local governments.
According to Professor Aminu single tenure may well be the solution for the desperation and agitation by all regions to produce the president noting one-term tenure will allow the president to concentrate all efforts at meeting the aspirations of the people without worrying over another round of campaigns with its attendant inadequacies.
Also, former External Affairs Minister, retired Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, corroborated stressing that a weak centre and stronger federating units are necessary and therefore should constitute the new structural arrangement that should be recommended at the end of the conference.
The delegates, who were contributing to the debates on the inaugural speech of president Goodluck Jonathan made on March 17, said Nigeria’s federal structure as presently constituted left much to be desired and therefore must be re-arranged to allow a structure that allows for true development at the pace of respect zones.
Though some felt it was a tacit reintroduction of tenure elongation, the Wakil Adamawa, Ambassador Hassan Adamu, dismissed it noting that the suggestions were only part of the many comments delegates have sincerely made preparatory to the professional and informed discussions that will be made at the committee levels.
It would be recalled that tenure elongation, which was allegedly smuggled into the recommendations of the 2005 National Confab organised by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration led to jettisoning of the whole recommendations.